The God of Jacob exalted among the nations.
Psalm 46 contains an apocalypse which I believe to be prophetic. It is a short psalm divided into three sections: verses 1-3, 4-7, and 8-11. The final result is for the entire world to “Be still and know that He is God” because He “will be exalted among the nations.” The psalm has a progression to it portraying how the God of Jacob will be exalted among all nations.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
1-3 ~ The voice spoken in the first section is plural. It is a group of people who are steadfast as they trust in God. They view God as presently helping them through a tumultuous time. The timing during which they trust Him is a time when the earth will be experiencing natural, or perhaps, supernatural disasters. This group of people, who I will term the faithful remnant, will trust in God in spite of these calamities. Even though the earth gives way, even though the mountains are being thrown into the sea, even though the waters of the sea are raging, even though the mountains are trembling; through all this the faithful remnant will not be afraid because God is with them.
I see this as being eschatologically fulfilled during the Day of the LORD through the 144,000. In Revelation there is a group of Israelites sealed to be protected from God’s wrath during the Day of the LORD, Revelation 7:1-8. This group is sealed by God showing that they belong to Him. In Revelation 14:1-5 we see that they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They are redeemed from among men being the firstfruits unto God. There is no guile found in their mouth as they are faultless before the throne of God. Although the world will be experiencing [super]natural disasters due to God’s wrath being poured out during the Day of the LORD, this group will have no cause for fear because they trust in the God of Jacob, Revelation 9:5.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
4-7 ~ This next section moves into a setting where there is a Holy City in which God resides. The final verse in this section suggests that the group which voiced trust in God in the first section is dwelling with God in this Holy City. There is a river flowing out from this City of God. Because God is in the midst of this city, she shall not be moved. The city is spoken of as a female. This city is in contrast to the kingdoms of this world. These other nations rage against God. In response, God utters His voice and the earth melts. The faithful remnant is with God within the bounds of this Holy City with a river flowing out from the midst of her.
This will no doubt be fulfilled in the New Jerusalem which is the bride of Messiah, Revelation 21:2. There will be a river of life flowing out from the New Jerusalem which will be cause for joy, Revelation 22:1-2. God Himself will reside in the city, Revelation 22:3, along with the faithful remnant who is a part of the bride of the Messiah. Even though the kingdoms of this world rage against God, this city will not be moved, Psalm 125:1. God need only utter His voice and the earth will melt, Joel 3:16. This hints at the conflict at the end of this age which will be more fully explained in the third section. We can safely conclude here that the nations will try to rebel against God but will fail, Psalm 2:1-6. As the nations rebel, the faithful remnant has been relying solely on God as their fortress.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8-11 ~ The final section is a call to view what God has done. The context suggests that it is the faithful remnant viewing the outside world from the inside of the Holy City. Look at what God has done. It seems as if there are battle scars from the desolations He has wrought in His plan to make wars on earth to end. He forces His will upon the nations by breaking, shattering, and burning their weapons of war. The means by which God forces His will upon the nations will result in desolations to be viewed by the faithful remnant. The decree here by God is meant to show that He has a purpose in forcing His will. “Be still and know that I am God.” This is spoken to the nations for them to know that He will be God of all nations. He will be exalted throughout the entire earth. The last verse is spoken by the faithful remnant to show that they have now come through the entire apocalypse by trusting in the God of Jacob. The wars have ceased, God is exalted, and God is our fortress.
Here is a picture of the Messianic Kingdom. God will establish His rule among the nations even though they rebel against Him, Psalm 110:2. There will be effects of the devastation He has wrought still visible in the age to come, Isaiah 34:8-10, 66:23-24. He has forced His will upon the rebellious nations and brought peace to them. During this time of peace, one may view the desolations upon the earth which serve as battle scars reminding people how God forced His will upon mankind. The call to “Be still and know that He is God” must be international in its scope. While the focus up to this point seems to have been on one people trusting God as other nations rebelled against Him, now the call is for God to be exalted among all nations by the means of these nations being still and knowing that He is God. God will be exalted in the earth. The coming of the Messianic Kingdom does not mean that the earth is purged completely of sinners, but it is a call that the King is now here by means of judgement. Be still, you nations, and know that He, Jesus Christ, is God. The LORD of Hosts, Jesus Christ, is with us here on earth as we exist as a group of nations.
Summary thoughts ~ In 11 brief verses, this poetry takes us through an unveiling of our God as He uses the faithful remnant, the Holy City, and a day of judgement to bring about His will for this earth. The call to “Be still and know that He is God” can be followed now by faith in advance of His physical presence. It will be fully realized once our God is present here with us as He is literally exalted among the nations. This psalm shows the wisdom in seeing a kingdom in which the Messiah will rule, but complete perfection will not yet be attained by mankind. He will be exalted in the earth, but ultimate perfection may not yet come until later during His rule. PreMillennial Theology has an explanation for this.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman